Cultural Differences and Cross-Cultural Communication: Difference Meanings of the same gesture


Cross-Cultural Communication

Eye Contact

  • North Americans view direct eye contact as a sign of honesty

  • Asians view direct eye contact as a form of disrespect

Your People Skills 360


Working Together:

Six Fundamental Patterns of Cultural Differences1

  1. Different communication styles

  2. Different attitudes towards conflict

  3. Different approaches to completing tasks

  4. Different decision-making styles

  5. Different attitudes towards disclosure

  6. Different approaches to knowing

Managing Cultural Differences Beliefs and Values Perceptions The Power of Attitude Vadim Kotelnikov Decition Making Conflict Resolution Effective Communication Knowledge Cultural Intelligence

Cross-cultural Differences / Cultural Differences - Six Fundamental Patterns of Cultural Differences

Cross-Cultural Communication

Hopes and Fears2


  • the possibility of dialogue... More

The GE Leadership Effectiveness Survey (LES)

Ten3 Global Business Learning Report Ten3 Global Business Self-Learning Report Ten3 e-Coaching Products HARNESSING CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE (CQ) mini-course AUSTRALIA (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) CANADA (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) CHINA (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) GERMANY (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) INDIA (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) SINGAPORE (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) SOUTH AFRICA (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) UNITED KINGDOM (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) UNITED STATES (list of Ten3 Licensed Consultants and Trainers) - Russian Centre for Entrepreneurial Creativity and Systemic Innovation Cultural Intelligence (Ten3 Global Business Learning Report - Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, South America)

Ten3 Global Business Self-Learning Report

What Leaders Strive To Learn = Where the World is going

India     United Kingdom     United States

  More countries and learning areas

Most Common Causes of Joint Venture Failure

According to a recent survey, only 44% of CEOs of JVs characterized their venture as "very successful".

The most common causes of failure cited by CEOs are:

  • Cultural differences (49%) ... More

Structuring a Strategic Alliance

10 Questions To Answer

  1. How good are you in managing cultural differences?... More

Leveraging Diversity: a Managerial Approach

Unleashing the Power of Integrated Opposites

Balanced Organization: 5 Basic Elements

The Power of Balance




Humorous Tips from Men: 25 Rules for Women

  • If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

  • Foreign films are best left to foreigners. (Unless it's Bruce Lee or some war flick where it doesn't really matter what they're saying anyway.)... More



New Product Development (NPD)

Shift To New Approaches: 7 Reasons

  • Designers research into total human experience, not merely customer experience. Today, many companies create such new jobs as cognitive psychologists, social anthropologists, cross-cultural specialists who adapt products of global brands to markets with different values and mentality, as well as ethnographers... More

12 Tips for Global Business Travelers

  1. Learn something about the country, local customs, and cultural sensitivities to avoid making faux pas while abroad... More



What is Culture?

Culture in general is concerned with beliefs and values on the basis of which people interpret experiences and behave, individually and in groups. Broadly and simply put, "culture" refers to a group or community with which you share common experiences that shape the way you understand the world.



The same person, thus, can belong to several different cultures depending on his or her birthplace; nationality; ethnicity; family status; gender; age; language; education; physical condition; sexual orientation; religion; profession; place of work and its corporate culture  Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book.

Culture is the "lens" through which you view the world. It is central to what you see, how you make sense of what you see, and how you express yourself.

Cultural Intelligence

Cultural intelligence (CQ) is your capability to grow personally through continuous learning and good understanding of diverse cultural heritage, wisdom and values, and to deal effectively with people from different cultural background and understanding... More

East vs. West  >>>

The Wheel of Life: Eastern vs. Western View

Western cultures promote an independent social orientation that values autonomy, self-expression, and individual achievement. Eastern and Latin American cultures promote an interdependent social orientation that values harmony, relatedness, and success of the in-group.

Researchers observed also different patterns of perceiving and thinking in different societies. Westerners tend to think more analytically and East Asians tend to think more holistically.

Amazing Thinker 360  Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book

Four Cultural Dimensions

Cultures both national and organizational differ along many dimensions. Four of the most important are:

Directness (get to the point versus imply the messages)

Hierarchy (follow orders versus engage in debate)

Consensus (dissent is accepted versus unanimity is needed)

Individualism (individual winners versus team effectiveness)7


When coaching someone from a different culture, use cross-cultural differences management techniques and skills, in particular... More

Culture Shock

Failure to identify cultural issues and take action can lead to a culture shock. In order of priority, the most often found symptoms of culture shock are3:

  • feeling isolated

  • anxiety and worry

  • reduction in job performance

  • high nervous energy

  • helplessness.

Not coping with culture shock symptoms when they appear can lead to a very negative situation.

Cross-Cultural Communication Challenges

Yin-Yang of Communication

Culture is often at the root of communication challenges. Exploring historical experiences and the ways in which various cultural groups have related to each other is key to opening channels for cross-cultural communication. Becoming more aware of cultural differences, as well as exploring cultural similarities, can help you communicate with others more effectively. Next time you find yourself in a confusing situation, ask yourself how culture may be shaping your own reactions, and try to see the world from the other's point of view.

The Wheel of Life in Buddhism

The Tao of Leadership

 Case in Point  DuPont

A US-based multicultural team at DuPont gained around US$45 million in new business by changing the way decorating materials are developed and marketed. The changes included new colors that team members new, from their experience within other cultures, would appeal more to their overseas customers.6

Customer Success 360

Building Trust Across Cultural Boundaries

Cultural differences in multicultural teams can create misunderstandings between team members before they have had a chance to establish any credibility with each other. Thus, building trust is a critical step in creation and development of such teams... More

Respecting Differences and Working Together

Anthropologists discovered that, when faced by interaction that we do not understand, people tend to interpret the others involved as "abnormal", "weird" or "wrong"5.

Awareness of cultural differences and recognizing where cultural differences are at work is the first step toward understanding each other and establishing a positive working environment. Use these differences to challenge your own assumptions about the "right" way of doing things and as a chance to learn new ways to solve problems.

 Case in Point  Eye Contact

In some cultures, looking people in the eye is assumed to indicate honesty and straightforwardness; in others it is seen as challenging and rude. In USA, the cheapest, most effective way to connect with people is to look them into the eye.

"Most people in Arab cultures share a great deal of eye contact and may regard too little as disrespectful. In English culture, a certain amount of eye contact is required, but too much makes many people uncomfortable. In South Asian and many other cultures direct eye contact is generally regarded as aggressive and rude."8... More

Harness the Power of Diversity

Diversity is a specialized term describing a workplace that includes people from various backgrounds and cultures, and/or diverse businesses.

You can find a strategic competitive advantage in an organizational and cultural context by seeking to leverage, rather than diminish, opposite forces.

An important but widely overlooked principle of business success is that integrating opposites, as opposed to identifying them as inconsistencies and driving them out, unleashes power. This is true on both a personal level (the balanced manager is more effective than his or her peer at one end of the control spectrum) and on team and organizational level as well.  >>>

6 Attributes of Successful CEOs

  • The Cultural Fit. A candidate for a top job might look great on paper, but must be culturally compatible in order to build relationships and add true value. Often, hiring managers or boards emphasize the need to challenge old thinking and move in new directions. But if an executive is too far out of step with an organization, the resulting culture clash can overwhelm the benefits... More

9 Signs of a Losing Organization

  1. Discouraging Culture: no shared values; lack of trust; blame culture; focus on problems, not opportunities; diversity is not celebrated; failures are not tolerated; people lose confidence in their leaders and systems... More

Inspiring Culture: 5 Elements  Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book

10 Rules of Effective Listening

By: Linda Eve Diamond

Yin-Yang of Effective Listening

Maintain eye contact. In the US, not making eye contact has the connotation of someone untrustworthy. But realize, too, that steady eye contact in some cultures is considered impolite or aggressive... More 

Discover Opportunities: "Why? What If?" Questions

  • Why should we look at cultural differences as a problem? What if we try to leverage the power of our diversity?... More


 Discover much more in the


Cultural Consciousness...

Guidelines for Multicultural Collaboration...

Concepts Related to Bridging Cultural Differences...

Ten-Step Yoga Approach to Conflict Resolution...

Integrated Diversity...

Color Intelligence...

Understanding Perceptions...

Mental Maps...

Cross-cultural Communication...

Tao of Influencing People...

Tao of Creativity...

Tao of Value Innovation...

Management by Consciousness...

Emotional Marketing...

 Case in Point  General Electric (GE)...

 Case in Point  Coca-Cola...

 Case in Point  Steelcase...

 Case in Point  HP...

 Case in Point  A Female Color...












Albert Einstein quotes

Peace cannot be kept by force;

it can only be achieved by understanding.

Albert Einstein

Tagore quotes

The bird thinks it is an act of kindness to give the fish a lift in the air.

Rabindranath Tagore

Abraham Lincoln advice

Tact is the ability to describe others
as they see themselves.

Abraham Linkoln

Vadim Kotelnikov advice quotes

If you really want to understand someone, free yourself from your ego and become the person you want to understand.  >>>

Vadim Kotelnikov







  1. "Working on Common Cross-Cultural Communication Challenges", Marcelle E.DuPraw and Marya Axner

  2. "Waging Peace in Our Schools", Linda Lantieri and Janet Patti

  3. "Breaking Through Culture Shock", Elisabeth Marx

  4. "Building Trust Across Cultural Boundaries", Ira Asherman, John W. Bing, Ed.D., and Lionel Laroche

  5. "Conflict Resolution in Intercultural Settings: Problems and Prospects", Kevin Avruch and Peter Black

  6. "Developing a Culture for Diversity", Chris Speechley and Ruth Wheatley

  7. "Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind", Geert Hofstede

  8. "Language Is More than Just Words", Alix Henley & Judith Schott

  9. 10-Step Guideline for Resolving Inner and Outer Conflict: a Yoga Approach

Harness Cultural Intelligence

One World, One Way, Many Paths

World Unity in Cultural Diversity



Cultural Intelligence

Culture Dimension Scores for Selected Countries

Cross-Cultural Communication

World Cultures

Thailand: 11 Tips for Visitors

Eastern vs. Western Philosophy

Pearls of Wisdom

Buddha about Conquering

Dalai Lama's Words of Wisdom

Confucius about Knowledge and Learning

Confucius about Communication

Confucius about Relationships

Secrets of Happiness

Happiness 360: the Three Loves

Buddha's Path To Liberation

Buddha About Happiness

Restlessness: 5 Types and 9 Remedies

Yin and Yang

Ancient Taoist Meditation


Effective Leadership

The Leader Is the Best, When.... (by Lao Tzu)

Lessons for Leaders (by Xenophon)


Enneagram Analysis: Styles of Selected World Cultures